THE 54th ANNUAL GMA DOVE AWARDS, HOSTED BY TAUREN WELLS, DELIVERS IMPACTFUL SPEECHES, ONE-OF-A-KIND PERFORMANCES AND SURPRISE GUESTS
Brandon Lake Leads The Night With Four GMA Dove Awards Including Artist Of The Year, Tasha Cobbs Leonard Takes Home Two Awards Including Gospel Worship Album of the Year
The broadcast aired exclusively on TBN and The TBN App and was simulcast on SiriusXM The Message
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 20th, 2023) - The 54th Annual GMA Dove Awards were handed out Tuesday night, October 17th, 2023, in Nashville, Tennessee to a sold-out audience. The show aired tonight, Friday, October 20th, exclusively on TBN and The TBN App and simulcast on SiriusXM The Message. Host Tauren Wells led the all-star night of music with performances from across the community including Gospel, Latin, Worship, Pop, Southern Gospel and a special tribute to Hip Hop. An encore performance will air on TBN and The TBN App Friday, October 27th, 2023 at 8pm and 10pm ET.
Brandon Lake was the big winner of the night with four total awards including Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year - Artist, Worship Recorded Song of the Year and Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year. Song of the Year went to “Goodness Of God,” honoring songwriters Ben Fielding, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Jenn Johnson, and Brian Johnson. Tasha Cobbs Leonard took home two awards, Gospel Worship Album of the Year and Traditional Gospel Recorded Song of the Year. New Artist of the Year went to Katy Nicole and Jesus Revolution took home Feature Film of the Year.
L to R: Luke Smallbone of for KING + COUNTRY, Jordin Sparks, Joel Smallbone of for KING + COUNTRY
Multiple guest performers surprised the audience including Jordin Sparks performing “Love Me Like I Am” with for KING + COUNTRY, Pastor Mike Jr. bringing out Ricky Dillard for “Impossible” and Tauren Wells including Davies on “Take It All Back.” One-of-a-kind collaborations ruled the night including a harmonious performance from Gospel Hall of Fame members Take 6 with Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. A special moment highlighting the impact of hip hop across the decades delighted the crowd with dynamic performances from Hulvey, Social Club Misfits, and GRITS and TobyMac taking it all the way back with a reprise of 2002’s “Ooh Aah (My Life Be Like).”
Host Tauren Wells stirred the audience with an impromptu sermon highlighting the current conflict in Israel saying, “We stand with the people of God and as scripture instructs us, we pray for peace in Jerusalem. Now here’s the thing - we can’t just pray for peace and not understand and identify the Prince of Peace. This conflict will not end until Jesus is the Lord of Israel and Jesus is the Lord of Palestine and Jesus is the Lord of every nation and every tribe and every tongue. There is a day coming at which every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The world could be at war but the church is gonna be in worship. Because we don’t praise God depending upon our circumstances. We praise God depending upon His reputation.”
Dr. Bobby Jones received the Jackie Patillo Leadership Award. Jones is a composer, recording artist, choir director and among the foremost pioneers in bringing Gospel music to the masses. Harnessing the power of radio and television programming, many of today’s best known artists look to their appearances on the Dr. Bobby Jones show as foundational to their widespread acclaim. He’s been a fixture in the industry since 1976 and a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. The GMA was honored to award him The Jackie Patillo Leadership Award.
Select quotes from the 54th Annual GMA Dove Awards:
“It’s not lost on me that 54 years ago someone had the vision, the fortitude, and the strength to launch a Christian and gospel music award show. We are standing on the shoulders of some great people. I’m hoping 54 years from now we’re still going strong.”
Jackie Patillo, GMA President
“This album means a lot to me because I’m a PK [pastor’s kid]. I’m a church girl. One of the ways I learned scripture was through song. I think we have an amazing opportunity as gospel artists to impact a generation with the word of God through our lyrics and the songs we sing.”
Tasha Cobbs Leonardaccepting award for Gospel Worship Album of the Year for Hymns (Live)
“I made this record in honor of my son Truett, my firstborn who we lost. His life was like a shot of lightning, burning fast and hot. You couldn’t help but take notice. I couldn’t be more thankful that our God loves the wild ones. I made these songs in the hardest, coldest of valleys and we still don’t know why God would ask this of us, but sometimes we don’t get to ask those questions. He didn’t promise us that we wouldn’t face hard things, that we wouldn’t face loss. He promised He would never leave us or forsake us. If you take the time to look in the hardest deepest valleys, the coldest places in this world, if you take the time to look, He is there. He is true to His word that He will not leave us. I have experienced that. He is the only reason that there is life after death.
TobyMac accepting the award for Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Life After Death
“We wrote this song after our adoption was finalized with our son who changed our lives. I just sang in the car, this little heartfelt song to God, just thanking Him for being with me all my life and so faithful.”
Jenn Johnson accepting the award for Song of the Year for “Goodness Of God”
“I am honored to have been doing this for so many years and to be able to continue to be a vessel for God’s kingdom through music is an astonishing accomplishment and I’m grateful to everyone for this opportunity. I want to thank you all, my GMA family. I want to thank Reach Records. I want to thank my incredible wife, my family, for sharing me with the world. Obviously I want to thank Jesus for being the center of my joy and giving me the hope and the ability to do what I do on a daily basis.”
Lecraeaccepting the award for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year for Church Clothes 4
“The difficulties that people in Israel and Palestine are experiencing, as believers in this room, we understand the weight and the gravity that comes with this conflict. A conflict that started in the house of Abraham and has existed for 4000 years. We know that ultimately Jesus is going to get His glory. He is going to redeem His people. I was so encouraged by this - when Jesus returns, He is going to descend from which he ascended at the Mount of Olives, and He is going to split the mountain in two. Because the God we serve is powerful. At the same time, He is present. He is present with those who are hurting. He is present with those who are broken. The scripture does a beautiful job of painting the portrait of Jesus as the bright and morning star. He is high and above and away from it all. But it continues to describe Him as the lily of the valley. He’s in the dark places, the quiet places, the places of pain and loss. So I just want to express today on behalf of the artists in this faith community here, that we remember Israel tonight. We stand with the people of God and as scripture instructs us, we pray for peace in Jerusalem. Now here’s the thing - we can’ just pray for peace and not understand and identify the Prince of Peace. This conflict will not end until Jesus is the Lord of Israel and Jesus is the Lord of Palestine and Jesus is the Lord of every nation and every tribe and every tongue. There is a day coming at which every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The world could be at war but the church is gonna be in worship. Because we don’t praise God depending upon our circumstances. We praise God depending upon His reputation. And scripture says He is faithful and He is good to every generation. And that means there are generations the world will forget that God will remember. Tonight we celebrate that name of Jesus as we remember the people reeling in pain tonight.”
Host Tauren Wells speaking about the current conflict in Israel
“In light of what has happened in Israel this week, our eyes need to be opened to what He might be calling us to. We have the hope of eternity and the good news of the Gospel. We aren’t bringing in messages that tear and divide, we’re bringing in messages that remind people of their worth, that remind children they are valuable and belong in society and remind people that they have something that only God can fulfill. We get to tell them that He is the Great I Am. That He is above the times. That He is the source of hope compared to nothing else this world has to offer. There is nothing as great. He is the light of the world. He is the light of men. He is the bread of life.”
Lauren Daigleaddressing the current conflict in Israel
“Don’t look at me, look at Jesus. I am just so thankful. When they say it takes a team I really mean that. I wouldn’t stay grounded if it weren’t for the people around me who say, it’s not about you, this is about God. This is about Jesus. My first Christian song I ever wrote was called ‘Shine.’ And I just wanted to leave you with this - God put a light inside of us so we may go out into the world and shine before others so that they can see His goodness. So whatever you do from this moment forward, do it for the goodness of our God, for the glory of our God.”
Katy Nicholeaccepting the award for New Artist of the Year
“There are so many people in this room that I look up to and who gave me permission to write as a young boy. They say imitate before you innovate. I have imitated so many of you year after year after year and songs not making it and no one hearing it and then God breathes on a little something. I’m so grateful to be a part of this community. During COVID, what was really beautiful is, the song ‘Gratitude’ says, ‘You’ve got a lion inside your lungs.’ Thousands of people were sending me messages of people that were in the hospital and the world would say, you’ve got death in your lungs, and they would say, no, you’ve got the Lion of the tribe of Judah in your lungs. Get up and praise the Lord!”
Brandon Lakeaccepting the award for Artist of the Year
The 54th Annual GMA Dove Awards are produced by the Gospel Music Association. Jackie Patillo and Justin Fratt serve as showrunners and executive producers, alongside Curtis Stoneberger and Paul Wright as producers. Russell E. Hall returns as director, Michael Nolan as scriptwriter, Scott Moore and Go Live Productions as production manager.
About Gospel Music Association & Foundation:
Since 1964, the Gospel Music Association's mission has been to expose, promote and celebrate the Gospel through music. The GMA serves the richly diverse creatives and professionals within the Christian and Gospel music industry by preserving the legacies of those who’ve gone before us and celebrating the work of today’s artists through events like the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Easter Celebration, and GMA Christmas Celebration - which reaches millions of people around the world annually.
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